The Good Egg
A friend gave me this book and 15 years later it remains one of my favorite cookbooks. Marie Simmons covers every possible use for eggs in cookery and provides not only workable, accurate recipes but also a number of side notes that cover the science behind the use of eggs as well as finer points on manipulation and preparation of this ultimate ingredient. Recipes for omelets, frittatas, and stuffed eggs are in abundance with many creative and flavorful combinations of ingredients. There are several exotic recipes and as an example, the one for Asian tea eggs with the marbled appearance turns out a far East delicacy that my Asian friends and relatives enjoy and find to be quite authentic. Also covered are an impressive variety of desserts and main dishes that utilize egg as the main ingredient or as a critical supporting player. The author takes on a huge variety of dishes and one can indeed cook breakfast through dinner and appetizers through dessert from this book. I like the Avvgolemono technique that uses egg yolks and lemon juice to create the silkiest sauce you’ve ever made in thirty seconds flat. The author tackles traditionally difficult concoctions such as Hollandaise and Béarnaise sauces as well as soufflés. She does an excellent job of describing the production of these more difficult preparations in ways that make them very approachable for the home cook. The book really shines with its many special sections devoted to detailed and understandable descriptions of various techniques and processes, such as the preparation of omelets, custards, hard boiled eggs, poached eggs, and dozens of other items that benefit from a thorough understanding of proper technique. I have learned new cooking techniques and honed others with this comprehensive and well written book.